Addressing Global Fossil Fuel Use: The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

By Kate May

The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty is a worldwide initiative seeking to address the global use of fossil fuels. The treaty is based on three pillars: halting the creation of new fossil fuel projects, gradually phasing out existing fossil fuels, and transitioning to clean energy in a fair and balanced way. This comprehensive plan intends to curb the growth of the fossil fuel industry, which, despite debates about its environmental impact, remains the most profitable industry in the global economy.

The science is clear: fossil fuels, when burned, release a substantial amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, contributes to the warming of our planet. On average, the global temperature has increased by approximately 1°C. If the temperature were to rise above 1.5°C, there could be potential risks such as rising sea levels, more extreme weather conditions, and a loss of biodiversity – this list is far from exhaustive. Regardless of one’s stance on climate change, these potential risks could have significant consequences for our planet and for future generations and their well-being.

Despite ongoing climate discussions, the use of fossil fuels remains a focal point and many governments continue to approve new fossil fuel projects. This treaty offers a potential solution to these concerns, aiming to supplement the current Paris Agreement’s failure to address or even mention the use of fossil fuels, by offering a global approach to stop the expansion of fossil fuels and manage a fair transition away from them.

The treaty is spearheaded by countries in the global south, which are particularly vulnerable to environmental changes. By signing the petition, you can join a growing global movement and encourage leaders of parliamentary parties in the UK, including those in devolved nations, to consider this initiative.

Izzie McIntosh from Global Justice Now – a UK-based campaigning organisation part of a global movement to challenge the powerful and create a more just and equal world – commented on the Treaty’s inception, assuring that:

            “At COP28 Colombia took the historic step of being the first fossil fuel producing country to endorse the call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. This is an example of true climate leadership that the UK must follow. Though the UK is among one of the biggest historic contributors to climate change, it is the global south who feels the sharpest impact. This is a grave injustice which is only escalating as the planet starts to boil. The UK could take a real step to halt it by backing proposals for a treaty that would ensure there is a just, global plan to phase out fossil fuels that works for people and planet. There’s no time to waste.”

To sign the petition, click here.

To read more on the Paris Agreement.

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